Russia slams UK inquiry on spy killing

President Vladimir Putin (普京) probably approved a plan by Russia’s FSB security service (俄羅斯聯邦安全局) to kill a former agent-turned-Kremlin critic.

The critic died after drinking tea laced with radioactive poison, a British judge said in a strongly worded report.

Judge Robert Owen led the public inquiry into the 2006 killing of Alexander Litvinenko (利特維年科).

He said he was certain that two Russian men had given Litvinenko tea containing a fatal dose of polonium-210 (釙210) during a meeting at a London hotel.

He said there was a ‘strong probability’ that Russia’s FSB directed the killing.

The operation was ‘probably approved’ by Putin, as the president of Russia, he said. It sent a chilling jolt through UK-Russia relations.

British Prime Minister David Cameron (英國首相卡梅倫) said the evidence of “state-sponsored” killing was “absolutely appalling”.

Moscow has always strongly denied being involved in Litvinenko’s death, and accused Britain of conducting a secretive and politically motivated inquiry.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zhakarova said the Russian government did not consider Owen’s conclusions objective or impartial.

“There was one goal from the beginning: slander Russia and slander its officials,” Zhakarova said the Litvinenko inquiry was neither public nor transparent, claiming it had turned into a “shadow puppet theatre”.

(This article is published on Junior Standard on 27 January 2016)

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